Intuitive web design: Top tips

Proactive Marketing Solutions have put together a blog series about intuitive web design. This week we are looking into the notion of trust

In this series we will cover how you can get an intuitive website and highlight ways to encourage repeated website visits. With between 10 -20 seconds for a website to prove itself before a visitor decides to stay or go. It is vital you communicate that they are in the right place.

What is intuitive design

You might be wondering what intuitive design is and how these terms relate to your website. If we consider two concepts, one being seamlessness and the other user experience (UX) and look at how these translate into your website then we are getting closer. Knowing what works for your visitors, and, just as importantly, what doesn’t is a great starting point.

Your visitors will probably return to your site if it is user friendly and running at a good speed.  But if it is chaotic, badly designed, and doesn’t match what is advertised then they will most likely leave, never to return. Its time to be honest with yourself, which category does your website fit into?

Would you trust your site?

When we use the word ‘trust’ we don’t mean anything other than a typical dictionary definition, -‘firm belief in the reliability, truth, or ability of someone or something’. Although you aren’t entering a long-term relationship with your visitors it’s still important to acknowledge that online services, compared to on street shops, are disadvantaged when it comes to trust. So, in essence, you have your work cut out! – We really do need to look at ways we can get our visitors to trust us.

Why is your online shop disadvantaged?

We know that customers are far more likely to buy a product once it’s been picked up and investigated.  In a physical shopping environment, you’re able to read between the lines- questions things like- how products are being displayed, the way staff behave- are they interested in you and the stock? Is the shop sign hanging off and the floors dirty? Or are the staff attentive and the shop immaculate? All these subliminal messages inform us on quality, and whether a shop can be trusted. Remove all these cues and suddenly we have a situation where customers do not know who to trust. With big brands encouraging the public to buy into their services and products through massive campaigns, it can be tricky to get a piece of the action.

These issues aren’t going away so its best just to embrace them. Google have started to rank websites based on trustworthiness and ethics, which is significant when we consider 96% of smart phone users come through a google search. If you neglect Google’s rules, then your business SERPs may be considerably lowered therefore, It’s time to get on board!

Practical steps that can be taken to build up a sense of trust

  • Use customer reviews- historical and up to date – promote them on social media and a no-nonsense page on your website.
  • Is your website full of problems – because if it is, visitors might begin to believe your services and products are also riddled with issues – Build a space where visitors can happily click through your content without confusion or frustration and won’t leave after only seeing one page – known as a bounce rate.
  • Put out good social media posts – regularly – containing relevant content.
  • Avoid asking for unnecessary information – its suspicious – visitors will be sceptical about why you want their information.
  • Provide your visitors with a means to contact your business – such as messenger – Let your potential customers know how long they will need to wait for a response.
  • You should look closely at your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – For more specifically about SEO, look at our ‘If SEO blows your mind, read this’. Or click here for more help.

False pretenses

Ideally, you want to look at whether your SEO and keywords reflect what your website has to offer. Unethical practices that involve dangling a carrot to tempt visitors should be evaluated, for the sake of pleasing Google and aiming to work honestly. A good bit of news is, 90% of people haven’t made up their minds about a brand when using a search engine which means you can capture this audience without sneaky black hat techniques.

The round up

I suppose a big question to ask yourself, or more constructively others, Is, ‘how much thinking do you need to do when using my website’. Beyond seamlessness and good UX, it is fundamental to reward your visitors with what has been advertised. I suppose it’s about honestly, not luring visitors to your site and giving them a clunky and irrelevant space.

Ensure your social media platforms are being used to their full potential and are linked to your website. If you are a thriving business show the world how you are positively interacting with your visitors and customers. Avoid giving visitors the impression that you are a dodgy individual in a back street, because your website and social media accounts are redundant.

Here are a few more elements to consider which we will look at in more detail over the next few weeks:

  • Say no to unnecessary distractions
  • Get help with speeding up your website
  • Be clear about what your services/ product are
  • Show your potential clients that you care
  • Be careful about demanding and gathering information

For more help on any of the areas covered feel free to get in touch with Proactive Marketing Solutions.